"No one died at Abu Ghraib" isn't true

In the rush to condemn Haditha, misinformation about Abu Ghraib spreads.

Published May 30, 2006 8:19PM (EDT)

War Room reader Katharine Christie tipped us off to a gaffe that occurred this morning on MSNBC; Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, comparing Haditha with Abu Ghraib, said: "No one died at Abu Ghraib." That's simply not true.

Manadel al-Jamadi, an Iraqi man, died after being interrogated by the CIA in a shower room at Abu Ghraib on Nov. 4, 2003. The detainee had walked into the prison just minutes earlier under his own power. The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology determined the cause of death was "blunt force injuries to the torso complicated by compromised respiration," and ruled the death a homicide. Charles Graner himself posed with al-Jamadi's corpse. In addition, almost two dozen detainees died in U.S. custody at the prison when it was attacked by insurgents.

Haditha is certainly worthy of plenty of serious coverage and public concern. But it would be good to not spread misinformation about what happened at Abu Ghraib in the process.

UPDATE: Another astute War Room reader, posting in letters, points out that this same falsehood was repeated at today's White House press briefing. A journalist, whom the transcript unfortunately does not identify, said to the press secretary: "Q: Tony, on his joint news availability with the British Prime Minister, the President said he regretted Abu Ghraib, and, yet, no one was killed at Abu Ghraib..."

All together now: yes, someone was killed at Abu Ghraib.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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